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Holy Moley, who knew Not a Summers Day

I subscribe to something called 'A sonnet a day' It sends a Shakespeare sonnet to my inbox each day. That way I have a whole day to spend living with each poem. They seem to me to soak in better that way, and having it bright and shiny in my inbox means that i do not have to look in my book.

The last two poems have been about sex. I mean, everyone knows he wrote about sex (The man wrote about everything after all,)  But-- well, see for yourself.

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight,
Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
Past reason hated, as a swallow'd bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
Mad in pursuit and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.




How oft, when thou, my music, music play'st,
Upon that blessed wood whose motion sounds
With thy sweet fingers, when thou gently sway'st
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds,
Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap
To kiss the tender inward of thy hand,
Whilst my poor lips, which should that harvest reap,
At the wood's boldness by thee blushing stand!
To be so tickled, they would change their state
And situation with those dancing chips,
O'er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait,
Making dead wood more blest than living lips.
Since saucy jacks so happy are in this,
Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss.

I stand, amazed.  I had looked no further before than my own favorite, (you can guess, I bet, what that one is-- I gave it to Archie.)  And I just came back to  Shakespeare as a way of getting at Marlowe and Kyd. I assume much of their writing is lost, especially Kyd's.

But really you can roll arround in this guy for a lifetime.  (Picture me, a happy dog, with my feet in the air.)
You are su


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 16th, 2013 04:50 pm (UTC)
ooh, how do you subscribe to this?
And of course he wrote about sex! That's what half his plays are about! Midsummer Night's Dream, say. Well, sex and love and how the two are related. Measure for Measure, on the other hand... well.
Jan. 16th, 2013 09:10 pm (UTC)
Somehow in the plays it is not as concentrated. Sex in the plays is just an outgrowth or an engine of plot.

To subscribe just search online for: 'Shakespeare sonnet a day.' You should be able to find it.
Jan. 16th, 2013 05:08 pm (UTC)
Yes, he was an amazing chap, wasn't he? Most of what he wrote about people is still completely relevant today. If I could meet one person from history (leaving out Jesus whom I'm assuming I'll meet sometime anyway!) I think it would be Will, maybe even in preference to Kit. Have you read 'Will Shakespeare' by John Mortimer? This is the best fiction about Shakespeare that I've read - even though it has some glaring historical mistakes - and I like his depiction of Kit too.
Jan. 16th, 2013 09:03 pm (UTC)
I have not read that one. I will. Now I am wondering if I would rather meet Will, or Kit glad I don't have to decide. In my thoughts, and in their writings I can meet them both. I suspect that when WS was not sitting down to write, he was fairly ordinary , someone you could talk with. The give-away with him would have to be his curiousity, which must have been immense.
Jan. 16th, 2013 06:43 pm (UTC)
Did you give Archie "When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes" like I did? Or did you give him "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" the way your title implies?

And yeah. A lot of the sonnets are Really Smutty. Though for my money if you need a lewd sonnet, it's time to go straight to John Donne.
Jan. 16th, 2013 09:14 pm (UTC)
I gave Archie 'Let me not to the marriage of two minds admit impediment.'

Three reasons. It is nautical. It is about faithful marriage, which in my head he and Horatio have. And it is a poem I lovelovelov, (first sonnet by WS that I got by heart.)

But now, I am finding Shakespeare is like a box of chocolates. You eat one and say 'that is my favorite,' and you eat another and you say 'No this one is my favorite,' and you gobble up a third one and you say...
Jan. 16th, 2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, absolutely, he and Horatio have a faithful and devoted marriage. And they are each other's pole stars.

I don't have to explain to you why I chose "When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes." You know the story. :)
Oct. 3rd, 2016 11:20 am (UTC)
In my personal canon he likes the nautical one best. I always used to trail off halfway through that sonnet (just as Kate Winslet did in Sense and Sensibility), but since applying it to Archie I appreciate the whole thing.
Jan. 16th, 2013 07:52 pm (UTC)
Well Archie of course has shown the influence of Shakespeare and Donne in his own sonnet writing in recent times :)
and he and Horatio have -er - benefitted from the literary inspiration woven in and out of numerous fics from many people

Donne for poems with unbeatable erotic art I think indeed

Not only the best sonnets of sex but powerful sonnets of other kinds too
and anyone who can start a poem with the line

'At the round earth's imagin'd corners' gets my vote - although sadly in that particular holy sonnet the rest of it does not live up to the opening, at least for me.

Like your being ' as a happy dog with feet in the air '- reminds me of a piece of music that I will try and send if I can find it :)

Edited at 2013-01-16 08:32 pm (UTC)
Jan. 16th, 2013 09:16 pm (UTC)
Poor Donne. I love his poems, I do. But since my son pointed it out, I cannot help seeing him as a potential date-rapist.

He has this sort of whiney 'when do I get some' vibe for me.

You of course have used his work beautifully, nevertheless.
Jan. 16th, 2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
yes there is that -and our generation and onwards have to view it through so much more of the lens of how destructive those metaphors can be
there is a whole discussion there but not for a comment column another day another fascinating chat - hopefully :)

Will S could whine too though - most of 34 is a whine - though it has the couplet that redeems it somewhat ( did I send RL reading that one in his best disgruntled neddy tones ?
Jan. 17th, 2013 01:03 am (UTC)
Oh, that is whiny!! So very human. Poor WS.
Jan. 16th, 2013 10:55 pm (UTC)

Making dead wood more blest than living lips
Filth! Lovely, lovely filth :)

These are brilliant, and very, very too the point.

Apologies for brief fly by comment, busy bunny again this week.
Jan. 17th, 2013 12:57 am (UTC)
No apologies needed. Hope all is well.
Jan. 17th, 2013 09:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah fine. Just busy. Still, at least I'm busy with proper work rather than pissing about with HR and redundancy. Contracts have been extended till July so we have until then to try and find more funding and a new institution to house us. It's not ideal, but at least I can still pay the mortgage!
Jan. 18th, 2013 02:47 am (UTC)
Glad you are stable until summer, anyway. At least you are back to doing what you do. And paying the mortgage is a very good thing too.
Jan. 18th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
A very, very good thing. We would not get very far on partners salary alone :| Sadly nurses are hugely underpaid here as elsewhere.
Jan. 18th, 2013 08:38 pm (UTC)
As everywhere.

I realized today that there is an H thing that I meant to include and somehow did not. H for Hospitals. My entire family would be dead many times over by now without them.

And in hospitals, nurses do the bulk of the work. Particularly in the ICU, where we have spent much time with Claire over the years.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )